Morning. I’m back home in London. Rather tired but nice to be back.
That was a fabulous week in Portugal. A million memories. So many great things. A beautiful country. Endless warmth and sunshine. Plenty of laughs with my colleagues. Forming new friendships and just enjoying myself.
On the Tuesday of the trip, I went out to umpire as my colleague was feeling a bit under the weather. We had a great day and rarely for me, I felt really in control. I didn’t have a great deal to do, but every player enjoyed themselves and there wasn’t a word spoken out of place. That’s how cricket should be.
And a word for our hosts, Amigos Cricket Club. Formed three years ago by a conglomerate of ex pats, they were a delight to be around. Full of terrific people and with a great togetherness and spirit, they hugely impressed me with their administration and organisation. Indeed, quite a few clubs back in England could do well to copy and look at the set up.
They don’t have a League structure in Portuguese cricket and Amigos CC rely on friendlies and touring teams from England. But it’s a hark back to the old days of friendly and social cricket, declining rapidly in England now. Don’t get me wrong, the teams over the last week wanted to win. Being friendly and convivial will never distil the competitive spirit.
On a personal note, I’ve been invited back next year to umpire and score and be involved. I took that as a great honour and depending on my own personal finances, I would love to make a return.
Amigos CC gave me this (above) as a personal memento of the week and it will take pride of place in my flat. But it was a week to treasure. Many laughs, great characters and great people. The food laid on by the club was out of this world. So much to remember. Truly brilliant.
The flight home last night had it’s moment of concern for me when we had a bit of turbulence when flying over the Bay of Biscay. Aside from that, the take off and landing was smooth and didn’t worry me a jot. But the turbulence had me worried for a few moments before it all settled down again.
Back home now and off to Peer Support group. Still bleary eyed and a little disorientated, but can’t wait to see my colleagues and return to the British way of life. But what a week just gone. Memories to keep forever.